Brasserie Cantillon

Brasserie CantillonBrasserie Cantillon

Type: Brewery, Bar

Rue Gheude 56
Brussels, 1070

+32 25 21 49 28 | map

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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 269
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
5/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Cantillon was so much more fun than I expected. I was surprised by how close to the train station it actually is. The wife and I, along with some other travelers, arrived there with our bags in tow.

The folks are super nice and speak great English. You can take a tour for seven euros that includes free samples, or sit around the “lounge” and order whole bottles or bottle pours from the bar (draft is for Americans, they say). And perfect temp too.

The tour is self-guided and it is fun to walk around and meander and peak at all the nooks and crannies of this old, venerable operation. Can’t wait to go back!

I had Kriek (3.75), Lambic (one year old)-4.0, Gueuze 4.5, Lambic Haute Densite 9% 4.5, Lou Pepe Framboise 2012 4.2, Cuvee St GIlloise 4.25 (gueuze but dry hopped), Zwanze Stout 2015 3.7.

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Photo of Redrover
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I was in Brussels on vacation with my wife and another couple. I was very open to going anywhere they wanted to visit. The only stipulation I had was that one day I was going to Cantillon and they were free to join me or to do something else, but me going was nonnegotiable. They all decided to join me and I think they were very glad they did.

It was about a 20 minute walk from our hotel near the Grand Palace. The neighborhood is a bit gritty but we never felt the least bit intimidated - being from Chicago helped : ).

We opted for the self-guided tour which was great. You can spend as much or as little time as you want. They were doing a mash while we were there, so that was great to see. Note that you go up and down several flights of stairs so be prepared. Seeing the cool ship, the barrel storage, etc. was beyond cool to me.

Post tour we settled into the cozy tasting room (the potbelly stove was cranking) for our beers. What a great experience. The Lambics and Gueuze are world class and were even better in the setting.

Crowd was nice with many lined up to buy bottles to take with or have shipped.

Just a great experience and one I look forward to repeating.

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Photo of poskok
5/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Absolute must if your visiting Brussels. Excellent. Great experience. You get the chance to see old brewery, organized like a museum. owner is great guy who likes to talk and tells you everything you want to know. great beer. really ok prices. some beers you can buy just limited amount. which is great. more for others. beers are top!

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Photo of eifster82
4.8/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Visited while conveniently on a work trip in the area. This place does not disappoint. Very unassuming entrance (I wasn't even sure I was at the right place until I saw the Cantillon logo just above the place) with a yellow wooden door and no windows. Open the door and enter, and the smell of Cantillon beers is unmistakable. It is in the air. It is the only wild fermenting brewery still in Brussels (according to the employee giving a brief start to the tour). The place was established in 1900, and the unique blend of the establishment aroma plus all the barrels that are used give their beer a special base which cannot be replicated. The place just oozes history. The self guided tour was excellent because you are allowed to go at your own pace and basically go into every section of the brewery you want (just don't change stuff around). Was able to have a lambic aged for 18 months right out of the barrels for a taste followed by another Kriek (all for 7 Euros). Loved seeing the schedule of all the current beers that are in the works. The place was busy, but not packed, with at least half of the visitors being from out of the region. Met a few nice people from the US, so all of us were in a sharing mood. The staff was friendly and very open to questions.

The on-site selection was tremendous with probably 15-20 different beers to choose from. I enjoyed a Gueuze 07 and Lou Pepe Framboise 08 each from a 750. My goodness they were phenomenal. Much more great beer was available but one cannot try all. The take-out selection was not as robust as on-site consumption bottles but I will not complain about being able to pick up 4 X 750 Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio, 1 X 750 Kriek 100% Lambic Bio and 1X 750 Rose de Gambrinus all for a whopping 36 Euros!

If you are anywhere near the area of Brussels and are a beer drinker of any kind, this place is a must. One of the greatest breweries in the world and deservedly so.

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Photo of schinebd
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stopping at the Cantillon brewery was a central mission on a recent trip to Brussels and it did not disappoint. The "museum" tour is self guided with look-ins at unique (and old) equipment. Definitely geeked out a bit on the stroll through the barrel room. The staff appeared to be carving up apricots for the next batch of Fou'Foune. At the end of the tour, there were two complimentary "tastings" (choice of gueze, kriek, and rose cambrinus, as well as 18 month lambic straight from the barrel!). The on site list is incredible, about 10-15 different options, including three different Zwanzes. We nursed bottles of Fou'Foune and Lou Pepe Kriek while playing cards in a corner of the drinking area. We were there mid-day on a Monday, and there were very few others there. The take away selection is more limited than on-site consumption, but at VERY reasonable prices, and the staff was attentive and friendly throughout.

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Photo of lwhcchh
4.52/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

I've been here several times and and love it but I find it increasingly difficult to navigate around the crowds. On my last visit, I met a couple who just fly in from Chicago for one day and pack their suitcases with "Whalez" that they take back to the U.S. and sell for a huge profit that more than pays for their trip. They claim to do this often and have never been to any other places in the country. Their loss. You never know what they will be pouring on any given day and that is fun. The same with take away bottle sales. I've heard and read several comments that this is the only active brewery that is a living beer isn't. I think a lot of its success is its easy accessibility to the public in Brussels and being near a train station. With that said, I always like to take groups there and pick up a few bottles. The place is a victim of their own success.

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Photo of Sheppard
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Both Bert and Jean-Fi are awesome. The on site options at Cantillon are amazing and there's no reason to go anywhere else to have lambic in Brussels. The prices are extremely reasonable. There is very little pretension despite being at one of the most famous breweries in the world.

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Photo of moose1980
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

I mean, I guess I gave a 4.75 on selection because take-away bottles for sale vary day-to-day without really much way of knowing prior, and if you build a complete overseas vacation around this type of visit - as I assume at least some people might - then you may be disappointed in bringing back 'souvenirs.' However, this is more than made up by the drink-in list and the fact that you are able to find Cantillon at certain bottleshops throughout the region. Plus, what other brewery is considered a 'living museum'? Great, friendly service and if you are lucking enough to be there on a brewing day, the aroma throughout the brewery is worth the price of admission alone. And definitely do the tour.

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Photo of AdamTebbs
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3

Really fun self guided tour, staff was very friendly and was very generous with the tasting pours. Didn't have a lot to choose from to take home but this is a very worthwhile visit if you are in Brussels.

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Photo of Spoda1983
5/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Stepping into Cantillon is like stepping back into history. The clean, freshly painted doors offer no hint to what lies inside, both for sight ans smell. Upon entering you are greeting with old worn concrete floors and things looks a bit dusty (and it is meant to be this way). Not like the modern sterile, well lit breweries we are used to. The smell is Cantillon. If you have ever opened a bottle you will recognize it immediately. the barnyard funk, musty, fruity, smells mixed with steeping malts. For a few Euro, you can get a guided tour through the brewery where you will see very old belt driven copper brewing equipment spanning 3 floors as well as the coolship room and a room of barrels aging beer and at the end you get 2 samples in the tasting room. Typically the on-site drinking list is quite good but it is the people who own and work at Cantillon that make the special difference. It is not that they don't take pride in their product (They do!!!), it is their attitude about it. They are extremely approachable and nice people. I have been lucky enough to have them share some young brews from the barrel or special brews or small batch brews with me. Go, spend some time there, soak up the unique ambiance, chat with the employees, you will not be sorry.

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Photo of esktime
5/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

We got there March 7th, after the Public brewing session the past Saturday and they had every thing except Fou Fonne & LPK for public sale. Jean and his family were amazing and very friendly during our frequent visits

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Photo of Jow
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

To be honest it is not the most fancy place to be. They did not invest in decorations, just brown chairs in a brown environment.

Buuut the beers are awesome!!! You can taste all the cantillons, super!

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Photo of amano_h
5/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

All of the reviews before mine have probably enumerated everything and anything you need to know about Cantillon in florid detail, so here's a short list of DOs and DON'Ts while at Brasserie Cantillon.

1. Take the tour. The unique beers at Brasserie Cantillon can only be replicated in the unique terroir/environment within the confines of the brewery. The tour itself will reveal all the magic behind spontaneous fermentation and you will leave the place feeling like a beer scientist if you paid attention during the "introduction" given at the brewery shop by the door, and if you actually took the time to read through the booklet that they provide you as part of the tour.

2. Try as much beers in-house as possible. People from certain online communities have the tendency to just drop into the brewery shop, buy the bottles, and pop smoke. All the beers served at Cantillon are served at the perfect cellar temperature in the manner it's meant to be enjoyed. I'm sure you're excited about the prospect of trading for rare beers, but don't miss out on the opportunity to try some beers you won't find anywhere else on the planet.

3. Say hello to Jean when you see him. Jean's always busy keeping the family tradition afloat, but he's one of the most approachable brewers I've ever met who loves to talk about beer and appreciates any feedback people are willing to offer him about his family tradition. I'm not saying you should walk over while he's busy bottling or brewing during the public brewing sessions, but if you see him walking about the brewery, do take the time to say hello, introduce yourself and give him some of your thoughts about the brewery and his beers. Trust me, you won't regret it.

1. Be one of those guys that do beer trades while at the Brewery. Seriously, this might be "okay" back in the States, but this is considered quite disrespectful, and almost borderline offensive in Belgium. God save your soul if you lack so much common sense that you actually open some other brewery's beer while at Cantillon. You're a big part of the reason why beer geeks get a bad rep.

2. Go nuts and order three-four bottles by yourself when it's obvious that you can't finish them. Pretty self-explanatory both for financial and utilitarian reasons (think of the poor beer geeks that would give you their left nut to drink the beer you just wasted!) There also seems to be this odd notion going around that you'll always be able to find someone to share your beer with while at Cantillon -- this does not quite apply if you go in the morning around when the brewery is open; I went to Cantillon five times during the seven days I've been in Belgium and I only did a "beer share" with a fellow enthusiast on the last day I was there.

3. Neglect some of the tried and true offerings in lieu of tasting whales. Yeah Fou'Foune is pretty amazing and most people would give their first born for some LPG/LPF/LPK, but some of Cantillon's more standard offerings taste amazingly different fresh out of the brewery. The most surprising instance of this was Rose de Gambrinus which was so much more tart and fruitier than I remembered out of the bottle -- for some odd reason the regular Geuze also made my mouth pucker a lot more than I remembered with past instances.

For those of you on the fence about visiting Cantillon -- it's a trip you probably won't forget, and the brewery is literally a 12 minute walk from Gare du Midi. If you're not in the Grand Place area it probably means you probably don't have anything else better to do, so why not pop in for a quick look at what 100+ years of brewing tradition looks like?

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Photo of Nachojon
5/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

For beer lovers, this is it. It is the epicenter. Once you go Cantillon, as a drinker, as a visitor, you never go back. Great selection that you won't find ANYWHERE ELSE, EVER!!!

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Photo of KaeF
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Nice brewery to visit. You can get a self-guided tour and see all the equipment and barrels for yourself. The people are very friendly and Jean comes by now and then to talk to people, really friendly guy. The beers that are for on-site consumption are amazing and the overall vibe is just awesome. A lot of different nationalities with the same passion is a formula for a good day of tasting and telling stories.

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Photo of Stakebone
5/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Does not get any more old school than this. But what seem at first glance to be crude techniques conjure the best of what can be produced with barley juice. I read that warming temperatures are impacting production and viability of this absolute gem. I'm glad I made it there and that we Americans are following natural fermentation techniques really well these days, but not having this truly unique place would be a huge loss.

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Photo of MatthewWalters
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

First of all, the area in which Cantillon is situated is not horrible, but not great either. I felt uncomfortable walking around the area at night, alone, but during the day I was aware, but not wary. On the interior, it's a working brewery with a small bar and a fair sitting area. I went on the Public Brewing Session day and it was awesome. Tons of visitors from all around the world and I feel that they hosted the demand well. They had a ton of staff helping out. The tour was awesome, and our guide (I forget his name, young and short) was incredibly willing to take questions and make sure everyone heard what he was saying, even with loud equipment running around us. The selection is obviously hit or miss, and I would recommend that anyone curious check out the thread titled 'For Sale at Cantillon'. Overall, I'd love to go back, but am happy to check it off the list as I don't see myself going back to Brussels anytime soon.

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Photo of Domingo
4.51/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

One of those places every beer geek should try to visit at least once in their lifetime.
Even if you don’t care for the lambic style of beer, it’s worth the visit just to see the process and to get a feel for how they make it happen.
Anyway, Cantillon is located in a warehouse nestled in the Anderlecht area of Brussels. It isn’t the fanciest neighborhood in town, but it’s an easy 15-minute walk from the Grand Place area.
When you walk in, you’ll notice a bar and tasting room as well as an area selling souvenirs and bottles. Usually when you enter, someone will ask you if you would like a tour. It’s 7 Euros and is a mostly self-guided tour, although it’s about as hands-on as it gets. They allow you to freely roam nearly the entire building as long as you don’t disturb anything. The tour includes 3 pours of lambic beers you’d struggle to find anywhere else. One of which is an unblended cask lambic. You can choose from 5-6 options for the next two. It’s a hell of a deal and they encourage everyone to do it.
In addition to the tour pours, you can also order pours or even bottles of roughly a dozen different beers. Prices vary a little, but all of them are a complete steal compared to what these beers sell for elsewhere.
Have questions? The Van Roy family are readily available and run the entire tasting room/tour operation in addition to brewing and bottling.
Want bottles to bring home? They typically sell a half dozen different bottles to go and have discounted 3-packs of their flagship kriek/fromboise/gueuze bottles. They’ll even package them for shipping if you need.

There are very few places that live up to my (fairly lofty) expectations, and Cantillon is most definitely one of them.

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Photo of KATCanada
4.52/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Oh look another glowing Cantillon review. Took the train in from London for the night. If you are into this you can grab the tube, stay right near Gare du Midi - my hotel was 5 min from train and then 5 min walk to Cantillon and 10 minutes to Moerder Lambic so an awesome setup.
Anyway if you love craftsmanship you will love this place. Just seeing the "way it was is amazing". Seeing the cooling tank and learning it is all copper that is rivited - no welds! Fantastic.
Do the tour.
I had heard '15 Fou might be released the day before I got there so was a bit disappointed when it was not available - except unlabled for consumption in house, which to be honest was probably even better. In addition to Fou they had several heavies - Vig, LPF, Zwanze 12 plus a couple of others. I was shocked at all the North Americans in there - English was dominant language but I joined a couple and we were joined by another dude and then 2 more - what I am saying is you will have plenty of sharing partners so you will get to try a bunch of great stuff without getting carried out. Nice mix of hardcore beer geeks and general tourgroups - these are usually in and out fast.
Staff are happy to answer questions and of course know a lot more than you do.
Basics were in stock for takeaway as well as Iris, St. Gilloise, Rose De adn reg Lambic and Gueuze but from my understanding the LP's and rare stuff is generally not available for take away except during specific release times.
Thanks to Mrs. Jean (I think) and the crowd for a fun time.

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Photo of jonesry09
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I was super stoked just to get a chance to go to Cantillon. I visited there while on a beer tour that I found online. The tour was awesome. We toured the Cantillon brewery/museum which was really cool to see. They have everything out in the open and hide nothing.

The selection wasn't great but that had more to do with the time of the year (end of August) than anything. It was pretty crowded in there and I could tell the guys at the bar were a little annoyed but still mostly helpful.

I will be going back very soon!

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Photo of JeffTheJuice
5/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Visited 25 Aug 2015: Never did I think I would be able to visit this living beer museum. Thankfully I have the most amazing girlfriend (now fiancee!) who planned a surprise trip to Belgium for the two of us. As a beer geek, this was number one on my beer bucket list and it did not disappoint. for 7 euros you get to walk around the brewery by yourself, guided by an informative booklet that you get to keep. At the end of the tour you get to drink Cantillon lambic! The on-site beers available were unreal and the gift shop was great. 16 Euros for 3 750s?!?! I could not believe it.

A must do for any hardcore beer geek!

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Photo of innominat
4.4/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

This feels like being in a museum but in a good way. Iv done the tour twice and I highly recommend it. I have visited many more times to just sit in tasting area and drink the sometimes rare beers on offer. Including a Zwanze 2008 amongst others. Highly recommended. I would make this my number 1 visit on a trip to Brussels.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
3.98/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Part Brewery / Part Museum of Geuze. If you are a fan of lambic or sour beers than this is your place to go while in brussels. It was fascinating to see how Lambic is made, have the opportunity to taste a couple basic options. On the day I was there they were out of nearly half the options for single pours. If you want to try a variety plan for multiple days or bring a group as the bulk comes in 750ml bottles.

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Photo of d3brewing
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

The mecca for spontaneous fermentation and sours lives up to the hype. The tour was incredible and it was really interesting that they give you a 5 minute talk and then let you run around the bruery by yourself with a booklet for a self guided tour. You would never be allowed to do this in the US. Onsite sampling was great but the to go bottles were a little dissapointing. We got to try an 18 month lambic and it was really interesting to compare that to the geueze. They had a soft cheeze for sale that was aged in geueze and it was delicious, if it's available while your there you have to buy it.

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Photo of tduecen
5/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

14 Euro a bottle... sign me up...
Pay 7 Euro and you do your own tour and it comes with 2 samples you can have. After that you can buy certain Cantillon products by the bottle or the glass. Did a Zwanze vertical while I was visiting and it was worth it.

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Brasserie Cantillon in Brussels, Belgium
4.21 out of 5 based on 25,947 ratings.
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